A comprehensive and thought-provoking collection of the designs and writings of William Morris, the most influential designer of the last 100 years. Through his own work and in his own words, the book traces the fascinating progress of William Morris, pre-Raphaelite poet and architectural student into designer, writer and pioneer socialist. His youthful enthusiasms for the Middle Ages and Gothic architecture fired him with the conviction that he must dedicate his life to 'Art'. Later letters written to friends explain how in the industrialised nineteenth century Morris become preoccupied with the loss of traditional skills and pride in work and during the last ten years of his life he became increasingly involved in political agitation, and his stories, poems and lectures all reflect his commitment to the socialist cause and his ideals for art and society. Other extracts from his letters and poems reveal more intimate aspects of Morris's life and personality, reflecting the despair and isolation he felt over the breakdown of his marriage and his reliance on the friends who helped him through his personal crisis.
'William Morris by Himself' is a tribute to an exceptional man, whose work and reputation have survived for more than a century, and conveys something of the man that he was, as well as his achievements.
Gillian Naylor is a Senior Tutor in Cultural History at the Royal College of Art, London. A member of the William Morris Society, she contributed to WILLIAM MORRIS AND KELMSCOTT, and is author of THE ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT and THE BAUHAUS RE-ASSESSED